Dear Reader

Dear Reader #17

Dear Reader,

This week, I completed the first draft of Snow in August, Sam Smith Mystery Series book sixteen. Snow in August is set in a small coastal village in wild West Wales, a new location for Sam.

Readers of the series might be in for a surprise when they start this story. I won‘t give the details away now, but the book will be available for pre-order later this month.


Over the past year I have had the honour of being editor-in-chief of Mom’s Favorite Reads eMagazine. With twelve magazines published I would like to thank our talented group of contributors and the skill and dedication of our editorial staff. I’m very proud of our achievements with Mom’s Favorite Reads and look forward to scaling even great heights in our second year.

Here’s the blurb for the latest issue.

The September issue of our popular eMagazine!

In this Back to School issue:

Young Writers, Humour, Poetry, Travel, Short Stories, Puzzles and Articles including:

What is Adoption?

Power Animals

What is Happiness and How Can We Find It?

Read or download your copy FREE!

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Delighted that Sandra, who translated the five books in my Ann’s War series, has offered to translate Saving Grace into German 🙂


A lovely quote from screenwriter Ernest Lehman when discussing writing the script for North By Northwest. I am sure most authors will identify with this.

”Typical of a writer, I was stalling, losing myself in yet more research.”


Sam’s Song is moving towards the top of the Amazon charts again this weekend , but I have mixed feelings about that in light of continued reports of workers being mistreated by the company. There is a brutally about Amazon that makes me feel increasingly uneasy about contributing to its profits.

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Photo by Tobias Dziuba on

“Clear as the dew it kindles on the spray

Across the shadows of each shelving lawn,

The rising sun, with low and level ray

Scatters the cold, grey phantoms of the dawn.

Like ghosts, they flee, like dreams expire

Within the elemental fire

Of our first calm October day.”

John Jay Chapman


As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Ann's War Sam Smith Mystery Series Saving Grace

Walking Away From Amazon

Interesting how the kaleidoscopic patterns in publishing change. Since July, at least ten of my books have featured regularly in the top fifty in Australia, so Australia is becoming the home of my books. Maybe I will set a Sam Smith story there one day. Also, because Amazon doesn’t have the ability to publish books in numerous languages, and my aim is to publish books in a variety of languages, other retailers are becoming more important. For my paperbacks, Amazon are now irrelevant because Gardners are my main outlet. And the profits from paperback sales easily eclipse the profits from eBook sales. All this is good, methinks. I don’t think in terms of success, I think in terms of enjoyment. And the path I’m following now, away from focusing exclusively on Amazon and eBook sales, is certainly an enjoyable one 🙂


Cover reveal for the audiobook version of Saving Grace. The audiobook will be published in October and will be available from iBooks, etc.


Cover reveal for the audiobook version of Blackmail, Ann’s War Book Three. Blackmail will be published in November.


A satisfying weekend for my books with a huge boost in sales on Barnes and Noble, seven titles just outside the top 💯 in Italy, Sam’s Song at #4 in America, Boston a hot 💯 new release and Saving Grace a bestseller also in America. Furthermore, yesterday Sam’s Song was featured alongside Mary Poppins, Janet Evanovich and J.K. Rowling.

27433ACC-2B15-4391-8333-31D4CBBD8852Writing and publishing should be about fun and we had great fun this afternoon recording a video for a leading book promoter. I was chief script writer, autocue operator and camera person while Daniela Jones provided the onscreen talent. The video is with the promoter now and it’s up to him how he will use it, but I hope I can share it with you soon. This video is part of a package that will transform book promoting. Some promoters are elitist and don’t give everyone a fair chance, but soon that will change. The target audience is two million readers. Exciting, I’m sure you will agree.

B321445C-E5E2-4A10-BA1D-AE92DB86C05FMy latest article for the Seaside News.






Hannah's Diary Sam Smith Mystery Series

Thunder and Rainbows

My books are no longer available as eBooks from Amazon. This is because Amazon claim that the margins are a fraction too big, even though the books met their specifications when initially submitted. Amazon like narrow margins because it means more words per page and subsequently less money for the author when books are read through KDP Select. Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Gardners, Smashwords and iBooks have no problem with my books and they are available through them. This is yet another example of Amazon’s unfriendly approach to authors as they attempt to squeeze every penny from them. I will not reformat my books for the sake of a couple of millimetres to suit Amazon on a matter of principle and because I have better things to do with my time. The eBooks are available from the outlets mentioned above and the print versions are available from all major retailers.

Mansel Jones, a fellow author, wrote the following in response to Amazon’s stance. I think his words are rather poetic and I place them here with his permission.

Amazon is like one of those infuriating answering machines…press one for this, press two for that, press twenty for the other. And by the time you get to twenty you discover that you have to go back to one again and a conversation that should have taken ten seconds has lasted fifteen minutes and you still haven’t said what you wanted to say. With books their computer says…you must have ten words a line (for example). Instead you have nine. But the computer insists that you must have ten. So it withdraws your book, overlooking the fact that those nine words are of quality and help to tell an enthralling story. The computer says you must have ten. The computer must be obeyed. Amazon must be obeyed. And then they send out a garbled automated message that contradicts itself every other line. Meanwhile, a chimpanzee is bashing away ten words a line on a keyboard, producing garbled English and a plot full of holes. But never mind, the story is full of distasteful people doing distasteful things to people who are vulnerable through disability, so that’s entertaining, isn’t it. And the chimpanzee has friends in the publishing industry who are incestuously cosy with Amazon so the book is bound to become a bestseller. And it contains the magic ingredient, ten words a line. What would George Orwell make of all this? What would any sensible person make of all this? Sensible people read books for the words, not for the margins, unless they have bought a modern bestseller by mistake and discover that the margins are the most entertaining part. Publish and be damned, they say. Publish nine words a line and be damned, I say. And be proud that those nine words a line say more than any bestseller could ever say.


Meanwhile, I have received this wonderful five-star review for Ripper.

Highly recommended to fans of the mystery/crime thriller genre and especially the sub genre of Private Investigators.

This is Sam Smith’s 4th case of the series and my firm favourite (to date!). With all the main characters introduced in previous books this book jumps straight into the action as Sam tackles the case of Cardiff Jack. In solving the case she uncovers some truths that will have a deep and lasting impact on her future.

The book maintains the high standard of the previous books. I have mentioned the strengths of this series in previous reviews so I’ll just give a quick re-cap. The central character is an intriguing, complex and very likeable character. The setting of Cardiff is very well described and comes to life as a distinctive character in its own right. The deceptively simple writing style has a natural flow and is a pleasure to read.

The author has achieved something rather special in this series and completely avoids an increasingly popular technique of cliff hangers which I personally hate. Each book relates to a central case that Sam Smith is investigating. At the end of each book not only is the case solved but as each case impacts on Sam Smith’s life and/or perceptions in some way there is the additional resolution of side issues which gives a satisfying and rounded ending. At the same time each book reveals a new layer to the main characters and their relationships with one another which gives a sense of a different level of character development across the whole series.

Great read. Looking forward to the next one.

Chocolate 2

Happy Easter,

Hannah xxx

Hannah's Diary

A New Service For Readers

With millions of books on Amazon alone to choose from, where do you start? You could accept the titles that Amazon promotes – books published by ‘major publishers’, or through Amazon themselves. Or you could wade through the thousands of new books released each week. In terms of finding a good read, all of the above might not be that appealing. However, now there is a third way. Read on.


A group of authors known collectively as The Writers’ Cooperative have created A Reader Recommends as a Facebook page and website. The page came about from a general discussion between authors. With millions of books to choose from, where should readers go to make their selection? They thought it would be a nice idea to assist readers in the selection process by highlighting their favourite books and by showcasing books from talented up-and-coming authors.

The authors in  The Writers’ Cooperative nominate their favourite books and these books are allocated a place in the schedule. They also accept nominations from authors not associated with the Cooperative and they have a weekly slot for these books. Their aim is to present the reader with a wide variety of quality books, all genres, styles and subjects are considered. The one thing they have in common is the q-word, quality.

There are no restrictions for inclusion on A Reader Recommends, although spammers are frowned upon and their posts will be removed. Everyone else is welcome. The aim is to connect readers with authors, introduce readers to new and classic books, and enrich the reading experience for all who love books.

A Reader Recommends is an exciting new venture for writers and readers. Books posted on the Facebook page can reach over 1,000 readers. Some services charge hundreds of dollars for that sort of coverage, but A Reader Recommends is free. Click this link, like the Facebook page and discover a new author and a great book today.

Hannah's Diary Novels Private Detectives Sam Smith Mystery Series

Sam Smith available in the USA

I’m delighted to say that the print versions of Sam’s Song and Love and Bullets are now available from in the USA and from other Amazon websites in the UK and Europe. Please follow this link for more details.